Search found 35924 matches

by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”
Replies: 15
Views: 2353

Re: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”

I did not "tout" it as "the answer to an inflationary situation." I said that "anybody who discusses inflation risks of 'bonds' and never even mentions TIPS is dishonest, not to be trusted, and not worth reading." In real life, TIPS may or may not actually keep up with inflation after taxes, but (as...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travelers Checks
Replies: 27
Views: 1334

Re: Travelers Checks

...I plan to take them to my bank the next time I go there. It's just two blocks up the street... Please let us know how that works out. My prediction is that you will encounter some kind of minor nuisance... for example, a fee for cashing them (even though you paid a fee to buy them in the first p...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The End of Indexing?
Replies: 33
Views: 3818

Re: The End of Indexing?

I just did a very slow double-take. Rob Arnott lets his name be used on the jacket: https://imgur.com/jWLmWAG.png Rob Arnott is also the champion of an indexing system developed by his firm, "RAFI Fundamental Indexing" and, I assume, approves of the mutual funds that track it (including some big Sch...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why dismiss sectors?
Replies: 31
Views: 1571

Re: Why dismiss sectors?

Larry Swedroe, "Rules of Prudent Investing:" #17: Owning individual stocks and sector funds is more akin to speculating, not investing. The market compensates investors for risks that cannot be diversified away, like the risk of investing in stocks versus bonds. Investors shouldn't expect compensati...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DFA small value... acitve management?
Replies: 35
Views: 1654

Re: DFA small value... acitve management?

Weighting by market capitalization is just another rule. If you've chosen to invest in market capitalization weighted index funds/ETFs you've made an active decision to favor a strategy. It's not "just another rule," because the market portfolio itself , that is to say the sum total of all of the s...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do Any Annuities Offer a "Free Lunch"?
Replies: 20
Views: 1170

Re: Do Any Annuities Offer a "Free Lunch"?

No, they're not a free lunch. The one time I actually looked at a variable annuity, it came with a forty-page fine-print prospectus on onionskin, and eventually I got tired of reading and just decided to count the number of different kinds of fee that were mentioned, and then I got tired of that aft...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travelers Checks
Replies: 27
Views: 1334

Re: Travelers Checks

I haven't used travellers cheques* in more than thirty years, because I found them to be basically useless. It can only have gotten worse since then. I had all of the following problems both with American Express and Citibank cheques, incidentally, it wasn't a brand thing. 1) By the mid-1970s I felt...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens if a government confiscates foreign-held stocks?
Replies: 39
Views: 2021

Re: What happens if a government confiscates foreign-held stocks?

Why wouldn't the market already be pricing in these risks? I assume it is. I've never seen a prospectus actually refer to confiscation risk (but I haven't read a lot of them). However, every prospectus for an international stock fund I've ever checked has had language like the following, which I th...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”
Replies: 15
Views: 2353

Re: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”

TIPS don’t work in large taxable accounts due to the taxflation problem Your so-called "taxflation problem" exists in every investment . It is not some special issue with TIPS. In discussions that talk about "the historic returns of the stock market" how often do you see after-tax numbers quoted? V...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”
Replies: 15
Views: 2353

Re: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”

My thoughts are that anybody who discusses inflation risks of bonds and never even mentions TIPS is dishonest, not to be trusted, and not worth reading. No, TIPS were not available in the United States until 1998 (European countries introduced inflation-linked bonds much earlier), and they are not t...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens if a government confiscates foreign-held stocks?
Replies: 39
Views: 2021

Re: What happens if a government confiscates foreign-held stocks?

E. S. Deluariers, beware of concocting storylines. Certainly what you say could happen, but it's only one of ten thousand possible future scenarios. There isn't any easy, cheap, effective way to protect you against any of them, so you'd better sure the scenario you fear is really likely before actua...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DFA small value... acitve management?
Replies: 35
Views: 1654

Re: DFA small value... acitve management?

(Shrug) DFA funds are mildly active, in a gentle sort of way. That is why none of them call themselves "index funds." I don't see why there should be any mystery about this except that people want to obfuscate the issue. Their "patient trading" technique is also mildly active, they do some market ti...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bonds the Maginot Line of Modern Investing?
Replies: 41
Views: 3266

Re: Are bonds the Maginot Line of Modern Investing?

...The "bonds for safety" narrative has only gained credence because the 1970s and prior seems like it was so long ago... I don't think this is true. As a matter of fact, it was only in the 1950s, following Markowitz's work, that pension funds began investing in stocks at all. Before that, only bon...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The End of Indexing?
Replies: 33
Views: 3818

Re: The End of Indexing?

I have to wonder how the original poster stumbled on this book. Only three people have given it Amazon Reader reviews---one gave it one star, one three, and one five--and its Amazon rank isn't too impressive,#640,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store), #469 in Stock Market Inves...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The End of Indexing?
Replies: 33
Views: 3818

Re: The End of Indexing?

One of the (only three) of Amazon Reader Reviews says: Title is misleading. Terrible book. Watch out. Disjointed to put it charitably. Would not recommend. Waste of time and money. Arguments are simplistic and only the last chapter directly addresses indexing and then only briefly. I got hooked by t...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The End of Indexing?
Replies: 33
Views: 3818

Re: The End of Indexing?

One of the (very small number) of Amazon Reader Reviews says: Title is misleading. Terrible book. Watch out. Disjointed to put it charitably. Would not recommend. Waste of time and money. Arguments are simplistic and only the last chapter directly addresses indexing and then only briefly. I got hook...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Market Fund - interest rates rising!
Replies: 73
Views: 6411

Re: Total Bond Market Fund - interest rates rising!

I don't want to harp on this too much but there is a legitimate question how liquid CDs might be, if interest rates rise so much that large numbers of people want to break their CDs before maturity... particularly if it happens at a time when banks are stressed. People assume that money in CDs is av...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are bonds the Maginot Line of Modern Investing?
Replies: 41
Views: 3266

Re: Are bonds the Maginot Line of Modern Investing?

I don't see where either Matt Topley or Jeremy Siegel says anything about bonds being a "Maginot Line," and I don't see how this analogy does much to illuminate anything. Sure, it's a way of saying that confidence in the protection of bonds might be ill-placed, but as an analogy it doesn't say why o...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Malkiel no longer endorses blind-folded monkeys, likes smart beta
Replies: 27
Views: 2738

Re: Malkiel no longer endorses blind-folded monkeys, likes smart beta

OK, now I have what Burton Malkiel wrote in the 2015 edition of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street." I said "he trashed it" and that's correct. He spends a full chapter on it, chapter 11, pp. 260-288, "Is Smart Beta Really Smart?" He knocks down everything, listing "the positives" and "the negatives" f...
by nisiprius
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Malkiel no longer endorses blind-folded monkeys, likes smart beta
Replies: 27
Views: 2738

Re: Malkiel no longer endorses blind-folded monkeys, likes smart beta

It was only four years ago in 2014 that Burton Malkiel trashed smart beta in a paper in the Journal of Portfolio Management, "Is Smart Beta Really Smart," and in 2016 he said In that [smart beta] does enhance returns, it’s likely because the portfolios have additional risk...It isn’t some smart new ...
by nisiprius
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3344
Views: 1004640

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished The Perfectionists:How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester. Fantastic. So I'm starting another of his, A Crack in the Edge of the World . Finished The Late Show , by Michael Connolly, a police procedural, with a new protagonist, Renee Ballard. Pretty good. ...
by nisiprius
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?
Replies: 17
Views: 1361

Re: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?

They do nothing. The firm's market cap drops because the price of their stock has dropped. The value of the shares the index fund owns drop, thereby reducing the percentage of the fund's value that is now invested in that stock. It happens automatically as a result of the change in the price of the ...
by nisiprius
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forever Stamps as an Investment?
Replies: 32
Views: 3507

Re: Forever Stamps as an Investment?

It's the same problem as the supposed basis of Ponzi's scheme,* but with a much less favorable return. You could probably buy them in sufficient quantity to store enough value to be a meaningful investment, let's say $5,000 worth or more. Indeed, I see that "Flowers from the Garden" is available in ...
by nisiprius
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years
Replies: 39
Views: 2828

Re: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years

If your point is that a portfolio of a few "obviously good" stocks is not the sure thing many people think it is, I agree. You can demonstrate this point in many ways. The "top stocks" underperformed. I'm fond of tracking the three stocks named by the authors of Dow 36,000 in 1999. They chose them o...
by nisiprius
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was max drop in 2000 and 2008?
Replies: 15
Views: 2909

Re: What was max drop in 2000 and 2008?

I found in 2008-2009, with retirement less than ten years away, that I processed the loss in terms of years . That is, the number of years it had taken me to save the amount that I had just lost. Throughout my retirement savings journey I also found that I didn't mind losses too much as long as the ...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX [Vanguard Target Date Funds]
Replies: 51
Views: 4153

Re: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX [Vanguard Target Date Funds]

Good article about the idea of brokers jumping from buildings, and crash-related suicides, in The Washington Post in 1987, here.
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX [Vanguard Target Date Funds]
Replies: 51
Views: 4153

Re: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX [Vanguard Target Date Funds]

Yes, here is is: December 11th, 1929: EX-BROKER, 56, DIES IN NINE-STORY LEAP: Frank K. Emmett, Who Retired Three Years Ago, Jumps From Window in Apartment. CAUSE OF ACT A MYSTERY Wife and Associates Say His Health Was Good and He Had Suffered No Financial Reverses. So, a broker, a jump, but not from...
by nisiprius
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX [Vanguard Target Date Funds]
Replies: 51
Views: 4153

Re: Huge drops in VTXVX and VTHRX

He is thinking of the wallstreeters flinging themselves out of windows after “the big one.” I don't know if anyone actually threw themselves off a window ledge after the Crash of 1929 - that's got a smell of an urban legend (can't right now track it down). I once made an incomplete attempt... what ...
by nisiprius
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on
Replies: 78
Views: 8972

Re: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on

I suspect much of Managed Payout’s underperformance is due to the international holdings. Adding Lifestrategy Moderate Growth to the chart might show that. It might be true, but it's also post hoc sample selection bias. I try to provide links to the source to make it easy for anyone to do their own...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: WMCR - Invesco Wilshire Micro-Cap ETF
Replies: 13
Views: 868

Re: WMCR - Invesco Wilshire Micro-Cap ETF

Rick Ferri issued a warning about micro-cap funds in 2010: The Truth About Micro-Cap Index Funds . To his data, I'm going to add data for the Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund, NAESX, and WMCR as well. I'm going to put indexes in green, actual funds in blue. Comments in parentheses are mine, not Rick's....
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9587

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Very rough round numbers. We're on Medicare. In each case, the 2x12 means I'm multiplying a monthly number by two people and by twelve months. 2x12 x $100 for Medicare part B, + 2x12 x $35 for the combined costs of Medicare part D plus out-of-pocket co-pays on prescriptions, + 2x12 x $216 for Medica...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803
Replies: 117
Views: 13594

Re: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803

...I never decline updates. If they break something next update would fix it... Twice, automatic updates put my wife's Windows 10 computer into a state in which it would not startup. Once startup is broken, how can the "next update" fix it? (Both times I was eventually able to recover by restoring ...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone consider institutional risk?
Replies: 37
Views: 2136

Re: Does anyone consider institutional risk?

...Yes, but virtually eliminates the risk of catastrophic loss (assuming independent probabilities of fraud). That's the whole point... I'm not sure it does eliminate it. Of course I'm just engaging in creative storytelling, not realistic risk assessment... ...But if I were going to fuss about it, ...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone consider institutional risk?
Replies: 37
Views: 2136

Re: Does anyone consider institutional risk?

Anybody deliberately use different investment firms to lower "institutional risk," or is it not worth consideration? We all know that Vanguard and other mutual fund firms are not covered by any SIPC or other insurance, so, are there real risks to customers assets such as fraud, bankruptcy, or other...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5649

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

We've annuitized about 1/4th of our portfolio. How did you decide on 1/4? I don't remember exactly. It was a combination of seat-of-the-pants, what we felt comfortable irrevocably "spending," and, if I remember correctly, I really did deduct our anticipated Social Security benefits and from our rou...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5649

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

We've annuitized about 1/4th of our portfolio. The products we used were an inflation-indexed single-premium immediate annuity from AIG Life Insurance Company, now renamed American General, and a TIAA-CREF lifetime payout contract with the "graded" payment option, which generates an imprecise, vague...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) investors?
Replies: 11
Views: 438

Re: Any FPURX investors?

...I think because Puritan is free to change its asset allocation between a certain range and that kind of thing is frowned upon here as market timing with manager risk... Actually, in an appendix to Clash of the Cultures , Bogle has a table of how Wellington's stock/bond allocation has varied with...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is EMH a tautology?
Replies: 108
Views: 4635

Re: Is EMH a tautology?

That's what makes the "H" in EMH a hypothesis. If it were "proven" (a difficult term to use considering most scientific research will never use the term proven but will only speak in terms of statistical significance, which means that there's always some percentage chance that results you got were ...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) investors?
Replies: 11
Views: 438

Re: Any FPURX investors?

Any ideas how to see if I am set up to reinvest? I am using Ally invest. I don't know Ally invest. I suggest you telephone them. This is the sort of question a rep should be able to answer very quickly. The short answer is that if you don't know how it's set up, you probably are reinvesting. It's p...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) investors?
Replies: 11
Views: 438

Re: Any FPURX investors?

Market rebounded a bit yesterday, but FPURX down 5.44% Any ideas of whats going on there? You do realize that nobody knows what FPURX is? atlgenxennial, he's right; in this forum, we try not to seem sophisticated by referring to everything with ticker symbols. It's consider polite to give the full ...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) investors?
Replies: 11
Views: 438

Re: Any FPURX investors?

FPURX paid out a distribution. https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/fees-and-prices/316345107?redirect=1 https://imgur.com/15QNIuk.png It paid out money. So there's less money "in" the fund. So each share is worth less. The same thing happens with individual stocks. If you have your accoun...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on
Replies: 78
Views: 8972

Re: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on

This is just some random snark I had lying around... it isn't a "factor fund," but the Vanguard Managed Payout Fund, which now has a full decade of history behind it, takes a "modern" approach: high stock allocation, risk supposedly mitigated by use of uncorrelated assets, factors, alts. The composi...
by nisiprius
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is EMH a tautology?
Replies: 108
Views: 4635

Re: Is EMH a tautology?

I take it seriously--not the version that says the omniscient market sees all and knows all, centuries into the future, though. A lot of important, useful, valuable concepts can be called tautologies if you want to. For example, the first law of thermodynamics is a tautology because whenever energy ...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Reliable CPAP Supplier
Replies: 5
Views: 271

Re: Need Reliable CPAP Supplier

Probably the best approach is to choose a supplier, call them, and ask them "are you a Medicare DME?" If they say "yes," then ask them what protocol needs to be followed.
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Reliable CPAP Supplier
Replies: 5
Views: 271

Re: Need Reliable CPAP Supplier

For supplies that are covered by insurance, I let my DME do it. For supplies that are not, and for accessories (like lithium batteries for powering my machine overnight when camping), I've used mycpap.com and cpap.com. They're both good, reliable, typical Internet "mail-order" companies. I sometimes...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 6 month Treasury Note: "Bond" or "Cash"?
Replies: 47
Views: 3563

Re: 6 month Treasury Note: "Bond" or "Cash"?

Even the primary categories, stocks/bonds/cash are not precise and grade into each other. Preferred stocks are bond-like stocks; junks bonds are stock-like bonds. Brokered CDs are bond-like cash, United States savings bonds are cash-like bonds. The question is always what use you plan to make of the...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If someone keeps 500K in two different FDIC insured bank accounts, 250K at each, are they still covered?
Replies: 8
Views: 1109

Re: If someone keeps 500K in two different FDIC insured bank accounts, 250K at each, are they still covered?

Yes, they are, and FDIC has an online interactive tool you can use to work through this and verify it for yourself. Better to check for yourself than to trust a stranger on the Internet. EDIE And as long as you're fussing with it anyway, you might as well take five minutes here: https://research.fdi...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Market Factors
Replies: 11
Views: 909

Re: Bond Market Factors

Between the people urging shrilly that everyone should reduce duration and go to short-term because of rising rates, and the people urging shrilly that everyone should go long-term for higher yields and stronger MPT diversification of stocks... Between the people urging shrilly that nobody should ho...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Fidelity offer the best index products for a passive investor compared to Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 5406

Re: Does Fidelity offer the best index products for a passive investor compared to Vanguard

What about differences in index construction, optimizations, block trading strategies, tax efficiency, securities lending, licensing, and above all experience matters, doesn't it? Vanguard has many years of expertise built into passive investing strategies so much that it is their core competency a...
by nisiprius
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Fidelity offer the best index products for a passive investor compared to Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 5406

Re: Does Fidelity offer the best index products for a passive investor compared to Vanguard

It's like comparing any two almost-indistinguishable products. It's like arguing about whether Coke or Pepsi is best, Duracell or Energizer, Toyota versus Honda. At one point, advertisers and regulators seemed to have agreed on the formula "No [kind of product] is better than [our product.]" I like ...